Sugarplum's homework last night was to neatly copy her New Year's resolution onto a piece of colored paper and hang it in the hall at school. Her resolution is to clean up the house "because it's really messy."
You got the part about hanging it up in the hall at school, right?
On the bright side, Chris will be teaching a course in building robots at her school soon, so as the teachers and visiting parents discover we are slovenly heaps of humanity, the kids' coolness ratings will soar. Maybe the combination will earn us a reputation among the elementary academic community for being geniuses. Geniuses are often messy.
For the record, my resolution is not to clean up the house. My resolution is to make sure Sugarplum sticks to her resolution.
For the last several years I've replaced resolutions with watch words. I've also replaced cleaning with living, but that's another story for another day. I can't tell you what my watch words are this year because that will jinx it and all hope will be lost. I can't tell you what they were last year, either, because I've usually forgotten what they are by April.
In my defense, I forget what they are by April because I've more or less incorporated whatever it is by then and/or gotten annoyed at my own henpecking. I do wish I could remember what they were because they were really good. Things like "courage" or "listening," for example.
I cheat and pick ideas that are already in the works. My biological New Year* starts sometime in September, so I get a sneak peek at what the theme of the year is going to be.
I think I can safely tell you, without jinxing anything, that this is the year in which I do things that scare me. I noticed this a few months ago. I said yes to projects that usually would have made me hide under my bed. I made scary decisions based on nothing more than the knowledge that something had to be done. I asked for and received things I hadn't asked for before because I was afraid I'd get them.
It seems to be a trend, this doing-scary-things, thing. I expect to spend the next several months weaving in and out of abject terror. Hopefully by April it will be old hat. I'll be so brave, nothing will phase me.
Which will come in handy if the world does in fact end in December.
I think that's why we make resolutions. Not because the world will end in December, but because we do things in cycles. New Years is when we give a nod to things that come and go. We put on extra layers in the winter, we shed them in the spring. We learn and then we practice. We fear and then we embrace. We are messy and then we clean up.
We teach our children the value of order and then we take a nap while they tidy up the place.
*I have no idea what a biological New Year is. I made that up.
** The end of the world throws resolutions into a whole different tail spin. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that I did not resolve to learn how to make my own clothes from milkweed pods.